Google Canada Supporting Toronto’s Distillery Winter Village Vendors With $10,000 Donations

This week, Toronto’s annual Christmas Market, now commonly referred to as the Distillery Winter Village, is kicking off. As the snow creeps up in the city and the holiday festivities begin, Google Canada is supporting each of the many vendors and small businesses.

To commemorate this partnership, Google Canada invited each of the 22 Distillery Winter Village vendors to a secret “health and safety meeting.” Upon arrival, the Managing Director at Google Canada Natasha Walji and other core members of the team surprised the attendees.

Each vendor was handed a gift box. Upon opening said box, the vendors discovered that Google Canada is donating $10,000 to each individual small business. Additionally, Google Canada is helping raise awareness of its ‘Support Hub,’ where vendors and customers can gain access to its services. Survival Kits, which include hand warmers, toques, and other essentials to brave to cold are also being donated.

“There are around 700,000 customers that come to Distillery Market,” Walji told us. “We thought it’s a great way to raise awareness also for these businesses. We know that the cost is high to actually have a booth this year. And we saw that there are many business owners that were hesitant given the pandemic and the operating cost.”

The $10,000 support donation is to help small businesses and vendors cover their booth and operating costs. The Distillery Winter Village is home to 22 vendors this year. For the uninitiated, set in front of a backdrop of lights, trees, and snow, local businesses set up shop. Some offer handmade crafts and items. Others offer treats, drinks, and more.

In 2021, the Toronto Christmas Market was cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions and inflation in cases. Instead, the Distillery Winter Village was held and offered an outdoor, more intimate experience. This year, the Distillery Winter Village returns once more. “Our plan is to just definitely raise awareness,” says Walji. “We’re putting together a holiday guide. We’re going to be promoting all the businesses online as well, just to drive foot traffic to the market and also raise awareness for their brands.”

In addition to the donations, Google Canada is boosting awareness of its “Support Hub.” Google Canada specifically flags its services and tools to help small businesses and the Distillery Winter Village’s customers. “We have so many tools like Google search, Maps, etc, where it’s all in the Google My Business Profile, those are all freely available to use for small businesses. Many of them don’t even know about them.”

The Distillery Winter Village is being held from November 17th until December 31st. More details on hours of operation and tickets can be found here.